He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Now go away!

It's an unmistakable line from the famous Monty Python film 'Life of Brian'. What's that got to do with football? Moreover, what's it got to do with Brendan Rodgers and Celtic. Bear with me.

When Rodgers arrived back at Celtic he was actually replacing a flesh and blood managerial messiah in the shape of Ange Postecoglou. The Aussie could simply do no wrong. "We Never Stop" became a mantra as Celtic swashbuckled their way to five out of six domestic trophies playing a style of attacking football that, at its best, took the breath away. He played the 'Celtic Way'. The supporters loved and lauded the big man to the point that one could have forgiven him for suffering from a Messiah complex in Glasgow's east end. In short, Postecoglou nailed it.

He seduced the Celtic moneymen. He seduced the Celtic players. He seduced the most important people at the club - the Celtic supporters. He won everybody over in the end. For two full seasons, Postecoglou worked his Jedi-mind trick on his Celtic squad. The players learned a system inside out which became second nature whenever they took to the field. By the end of Postecoglou's tenure, the Celtic players could play the 4-3-3 on instinct. It was tantamount to a form of football brainwashing. He had given them hope and belief that they were about to enter a glorious new era of dominance both at home and abroad. Come the summer Celtic had to "Bring on the new Messiah, wherever he may roam" after Postecoglou opted to take the reins at Tottenham Hotspur.

The new Messiah for the men in green and white turned out to be an old Messiah. Step forward, Rodgers. But was he a Messiah or a naughty boy? It's fair to say that there was considerable and hostile opposition from some fans to Rodgers ascending to the Parkhead throne once again. The Northern Irishman spent two-and-a-half years in his first spell and led Celtic to an unprecedented era of dominance including the Invincible treble in 2016/17. Having won seven trophies out of seven and was on course to lead Celtic to the 'Treble Treble' when he jumped ship for Leicester in February 2019. The timing was bad and for some, unforgivable. 

Arriving, he vowed to merely "tweak" Celtic's tactics, stressing that he and Postecoglou's football philosophy and principles "are very much the same". It made obvious sense Rodgers wasn't going to rip the winning template asunder. He said: "Defensively it's very aggressive, it's very synchronised, very coordinated, it's full of emotion and aggression. Then when you have the ball, the challenge is to create goals and score goals. The key thing is that you have to stay aggressive. You can’t go timid. In anything. That’s number one, and you find that out from how they defend, from how they run.

"Do they run the same way and do they press the same? That’s when you see it. Everything is based on aggression and your intent because, when you don’t have that, you don’t quite get there. You never get close enough to touch the opponent. I can spot that very, very quickly. It’s about shining a light on the importance of it. I think some people will have it within them, but they might not understand how important it is." It all sounded so familiar - didn't it?

Yet three games into the season, a section of the Celtic fan base are certainly up in arms. Boos and jeers rang out from the most vociferous part of the ground after Rodgers' men had failed to score for the second game in a row in slipping to a 0-0 draw against St Johnstone on Saturday. Coming hot on the heels of a woeful League Cup exit at the hands of Kilmarnock a week previous, it was not so much rip-roaring, free-scoring, never boring - it was more perspiring, uninspiring, misfiring Glasgow Celtic.

READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers on the Green Brigade and Celtic's 'slow tempo'

The Green Brigade let Rodgers have it with both barrels during the customary salute to the crowd at the end of proceedings. Rodgers didn't shirk the issue when questioned and he addressed it head on. "I totally understand it," he admitted. "You have to get results at this club, if not then the flak will come your way, so we have to take that. But we have to continue working to make it better. It’s still very early in the season. But you can clearly see there's a lot of work to do."

The manager cut a forlorn and lost figure in the technical area but not as much as his players on the park over these last two games. They were bereft of craft, guile and ingenuity. A burgeoning injury list hasn't helped but this Celtic team still possesses enough quality to comfortably dispose of both opponents they have faced in back-to-back weekends.

So where does the blame lie?

The manager? Whilst the Green Brigade may be up in arms the fan base at large are more forgiving. The largest part are willing him to succeed and reckon it's a matter of time before it all comes good.

The players? Sometimes the personnel at the club have to take responsibility but their performances look confused about the tactics that Rodgers is deploying.

The board? It would appear the Celtic hierarchy hasn't armed Rodgers with enough financial clout in the transfer window to continue their sustained period of dominance. The summer window has been poor in terms of delivering signings that can go straight into the first team as starters. Or certainly, ones that provide the quality the manager craves.

After all, the previous Messiah, sorry manager, wasn't slow in coming forward and letting the directors know when they needed to empty the purse strings. Postecoglou once aimed this salvo at the Celtic board: "Maybe I wasn't clear enough [with the board] - I don't know. I think I've been pretty consistent in saying we need players in." It's high time that Rodgers adopted a similar stance. His need for first-team-ready players to be brought in during the remaining days of the transfer window is one of necessity. He should be banging down Michael Nicholson's door this week and demanding players that he wants to be purchased to be in place by September 1. Rodgers won't need reminded the next port of call is Ibrox.

READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers has 9 days to force transfer plan - Tony Haggerty

Celtic Way:

Yet, amidst the doom and gloom and early panic, there are silver linings. Ironically Celtic head to Govan still at the summit of the Scottish Premiership table. They also have the chance to open up a four-point gap on their city rivals, and when it comes to tactical sense most would still back Rodgers over Michael Beale.

The Celtic fans are viewing the trip to Ibrox with some trepidation. They should be in a state of concerned optimism. Concerned at the performance of Rodgers' malfunctioning team in these last few games. Optimistic that a big statement in the transfer market can combine with the manager's undisputed acumen to turn fortunes around.

Getting back to Monty Python there is a wonderfully comedic football sketch where the German philosophers take on the Greek philosophers. The so-called match starts and every player instead of heading for the ball wanders around lost in contemplation. It's a bit like the Celtic team right now as their performances have been laborious, ponderous and verging on boring.  Ibrox is certainly no place for 'philosophy football' or over-thinking matters.

Back to the Monty Python sketch and with just over a minute of the match remaining, Greek philosopher Archimedes cries out "Eureka!" He takes the first kick of the ball and rushes towards the German goal and Socrates scores the only goal of the match with a diving header from a cross from Archimedes and the Greeks win the match 1-0. Rodgers is desperately in need of his own Eureka moment in Govan this Sunday.

There would be no better place for the manager to earn redemption and to kickstart Celtic's season. If he can manage to come up with a game plan that sees the champions repel Rangers and win the match then it will be viewed as a tangible turnaround. And, given the manager's record in Govan, it would honestly take a brave man to bet against that actual outcome.

Are the Celtic supporters concerned? Yes. Are the Celtic supporters optimistic? Always.

In fact, after ninety minutes at Ibrox on Sunday, the naughty boy could well become the Messiah all over again. Forget Monty Python and their epic films this is the football equivalent of the 'Life of Brendan'.